Manchester Parents Rally to Save Two Elementary Schools

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    Parents in Manchester are rallying to save two schools after the district said they might shut down Robertson and Washington Elementary schools to save millions of dollars.

    “I’m fighting,” said parent Kristina Diaz. 

    Diaz said she wants Robertson Elementary to stay open. “My son doesn't want to go to another school he told me to come here and fight for his school,” Diaz explained.

    The Manchester School District could shut it down, along with Washington Elementary.  Dozens of parents, and even teachers showed up at the Board of Education meeting and told leaders to reconsider plans. “When you leave an empty school you leave an empty neighborhood,” another parent added.

    Superintendent Richard Kisiel showed parents plans in detail.  He explained time has taken a toll on Washington and Robertson Schools, and they needed a complete overhaul.  That was something that could run tens of millions of dollars and may not be cost effective. “There’s a whole range of issues…electrical, roof, handicap accessibility,” Kisiel said.

    The idea is to close the schools and use that money to fix up the other 6 elementary schools that are in better shape. That would make more more space and room for students from Robertson and Washington. 

    The possible project is 5 to 10 years down the road.  School leaders said a more advanced learning environment would help the kids.  “We want to make sure our designs and plans meet the teaching and learning of the future,” Kisiel explained.

    If the plan becomes a reality, some parents worry there will be overcrowding. “I’m angry I’m disturbed,” said Gladys Ortiz.  She said she would pull her kids out of the district. “I’m thinking about selling my house moving out of town,” Ortiz explained.

    The Board of Education plans to make a decision on the proposal in the next few weeks.